UFC 300 results: Alex Pereira stops Jamahal Hill to defend light heavyweight title, Zhang Weili retains

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Alex Pereira left without a scratch on Saturday night, stopping former champ Jamahal Hill in the first round to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship for the first time.

Pereira’s victory headlined UFC 300, a high-profile card celebrating the promotion reaching another massive figure in its numbered event series. The pay-per-view lineup took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Pereira floored Hill roughly three minutes into their title fight, connecting with a clean left hook that caused him to go crashing down onto the canvas. Pereira followed up with extra punches on the ground, forcing the referee to eventually stop the fight.

The sudden finish came after a few minutes of competition that saw neither fighter have a big moment. Pereira felt so fresh and untouched afterward that he offered to appear at UFC’s PPV event in Brazil next month.

Pereira has earned three wins since losing his middleweight title just over a year ago and making the move up to light heavyweight. The experienced kickboxer, who made the full-time switch to MMA in 2020 and debuted on the UFC roster a year later, earned the 205-pound division belt five months back with a second-round stoppage against Jiri Prochazka.

Hill was fighting to regain a belt he relinquished last year due to an injury he suffered outside of training. His time on top of the division was short, earning the belt in early 2023 with a five-round battle against Glover Teixeira. He dropped the title just months later.

The result of Saturday’s UFC 300 main event brings stability to a division that has been in turmoil for years. Pereira is the first fighter to defend his belt as champion at light heavyweight since Jan Blachowicz in 2021. Light heavyweight has failed to have a definitive era since Jon Jones departed the weight class in 2020 – a win on Saturday could be another important stepping stone for cementing Pereira as the next face of the 205-pound class.

Zhang Weili nearly finishes Yan Xiaonan, avoids comeback to defend strawweight title

Zhang Weili defended her UFC Strawweight Championship for the second time in Saturday’s co-main event, going five rounds against a tough Yan Xiaonan who had to avoid a few near-finish moments in the fight to make it to the scorecards.

Zhang seemingly came close to ending the fight early, putting Yan in trouble during the first and second rounds.

Zhang applied a rear naked choke in the opening round after scoring a takedown and kept a hold of the choke until the round ran out of time. Yan seemed visibly wobbled when getting up from this submission, causing many to question whether she went fully unconscious and subsequently should be taken out of the bout.

Despite the submission in the first round having Yan in significant trouble, she fought through to the second round. Zhang found success once again when taking the fight to the ground. While she struggled more with chokes in this round, she pieced together combinations of punches in dominant positions that Yan struggled to respond to. Yan eventually escaped the position, preventing a finish.

After avoiding being finished, Yan had a breakthrough round that made it seem like she could mount a comeback. She dropped rocked Zhang with right hands in the third round, scoring what looked to be a couple of flash knockdowns.

This momentum continued into the fourth round but was short-lived. After another flash knockdown from Yan, Zhang scored a takedown and went back to doing damage on the ground. With her best work coming from the mat, it only made sense for Zhang to earn a takedown in the final frame as well.

The victory for Zhang makes her just the second-ever strawweight in UFC history to defend their belt more than once. The other fighter to do so was Joanna Jedrzeczyk, who had a lengthy run at the top of the division.

Previous wins in Zhang’s reign include a 2023 victory over Amanda Lemos and a performance in the year prior that took the belt off former titleholder Carla Esparza.

Yan, a contender who has stuck around the strawweight rankings for a few years, was riding the momentum of a first-round finish victory over Jessica Andrade from last year.

Max Holloway earns ‘Knockout of the Year’ contender over Justin Gaethje to earn ‘BMF’ belt

Max Holloway scored a career highlight against Justin Gaethje, landing a knockout blow in the final moment of their five-round fight at lightweight.

After fighting for most of the bout at a more measured and methodical pace, Holloway called for the fighters to trade quick blows as the final seconds of the bout took place. The fighters swung wild shots, and an overhand right from Holloway knocked Gaethje out cold and put an end to the bout.

The win made Holloway the new “BMF” champion, a title that is assigned to fan-favourite matchups outside of the title picture.

If it wasn’t for the sudden finish with just one second to spare, Holloway would have likely come away with a decision win nonetheless.

The former featherweight champ put together a striking masterclass in the earlier minutes, wobbling the tough Gaethje numerous times and controlling most rounds of the bout.

Holloway scored with a clean spinning head kick in the final moments of the opening round, seemingly causing an injury to Gaethje’s nose. He continued to out-land Gaethje for the following rounds, hurting him numerous times with punches. In a testament to Gaethje’s well-documented toughness, he was able to shake off most strikes.

Gaethje’s best strikes were leg kicks, which added up and caused trouble for Holloway as the fight progressed.

Holloway was moving up to lightweight for the special attraction fight on UFC 300 this weekend, competing in the division for just the second time in his run with the promotion. He directed attention back to his home division after the fight, calling out current featherweight champ Ilia Topuria.

Gaethje, much like Holloway, is one of the top names in his division at the moment. He came into this weekend following a pair of high-profile lightweight wins last year, knocking out Dustin Poirier and beating Rafael Fiziev on scorecards.

Arman Tsarukyan sneaks by Charles Oliveira in competitive split decision

Arman Tsarukyan picked up the win in an airtight three-round contest against former lightweight champ Charles Oliveira, taking a split decision victory after a dramatic end to the final round.

The high-ranked lightweights took turns with the momentum in the fight, potentially giving them each a round to start.

Oliveira threatened Tsarukyan early with a deep guillotine choke, although the submission was eventually escaped. Tsarukyan earned a full mount position on top afterward, regaining some control after what could have been a fight-ending submission.

Tsarukyan had the clearest round of all in the second frame, getting Oliveira down in the second minute and then cutting him open with punches and elbows from full guard.

The third round was easily the hardest to judge out of the three, with both fighters having prominent moments. Tsarukyan earned a takedown halfway through the round, allowing him to work in the crucifix and back positions. But after he had control for a few minutes in the fight, Oliveira stopped his momentum with a d’arce choke attempt. This choke, while it looked threatening to Tsarukyan in the same way that the guillotine in the first round did, was a hold that Tsarukyan was able to endure until the round ran out of time.

The fight provided a close result, with a margin of just one round on all three cards.

The victory positions Tsarukyan as one of the strongest contenders in the lightweight division. His UFC record now consists of nine wins and two losses. His most recent defeat was a controversial five-round decision defeat to Mateusz Gamrot, and his prior loss came against current champ Islam Makhachev. He has solid wins in the past over Beneil Dariush and Damir Ismagulov, but no victory means more than the one he earned over Oliveira this weekend.

Oliveira was expected to challenge for the lightweight belt last October, although an injury forced him to withdraw from the booking. After losing this weekend, he’s likely now farther away from a title shot than he has been in years.

Bo Nickal puts on longest fight of career thus far, submits Cody Brundage

Rising middleweight talent Bo Nickal went deeper into a fight than ever before on Saturday evening, going into the second round against Cody Brundage before finding a rear naked choke submission.

Nickal succeeded in the fight using ground control, providing a performance that likely won’t earn any performance bonuses but was a solid outing nonetheless.

Nickal spent a large portion of the first round in control on the ground, getting control of Brundage but never finding a finish. Brundage didn’t seem worried while in these positions, at one point receiving a laugh from the crowd after shrugging off punches from Nickal.

Brundage gave some underdog supporters moment of hope at the beginning of the second round, shutting down a takedown attempt from Nickal. However, the hope that he would stifle Nickal’s gameplan was short-lived. Seconds later, another attempt took Brundage to the canvas, getting the fight right back to where it was in the round before. A rear naked choke emerged while on the ground, handing Nickal his sixth victory as a pro.

While Nickal picked up another finish and kept his record flawless, he was critical of his performance afterwards.

“I feel like I’m a little bit embarrassed with that performance because I expect to go out there and dominate,” Nickal said in his post-fight interview.

Nickal was an overwhelming favorite heading into this weekend, with oddsmakers putting him as high as -1500. He made quick work of his two previous UFC opponents, beating Val Woodburn and Jamie Pickett in the first round each.

Former champs Jiri Prochazka, Aljamain Sterling earn wins atop stacked prelims

UFC 300 was one of the most stacked lineups in the promotion’s history, meaning all of the prelim bouts were high quality. Here’s a breakdown of what happened earlier in the night:

Jiri Prochazka came back from a rough first round to stop returning ranked light heavyweight Aleksandar Rakic. Prochazka threw a consistent stream of punches at Rakic in the second round, hurting him with a right hand then continuing to score as the fight hit the round. The finish win for Prochazka came just a round after Rakic had solid control of the fight, chopping up the legs of the former champ and getting his own punches through.

Prochazka called for a shot against the main event winner of the UFC 300 main event after his win. This weekend was his first appearance since losing a vacant title bout to Alex Pereira last November, marking his first defeat in nearly a decade.

It was one-way traffic when Aljamain Sterling made his featherweight debut, using his wrestling to almost entirely eliminate any gameplan that opponent Calvin Kattar came in with. Sterling, a former bantamweight champ, walked away with a comfortable decision win after three rounds.

Two-time PFL Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison had a near-flawless UFC debut, submitting former champ Holly Holm in the second round with a rear naked choke after dictating the fight on the ground. After two rounds of success on the ground, Harrison found the opening for a submission in the second round. This weekend ended up being a best-case scenario for Harrison: Many worried about her making bantamweight for the first time, although she hit the limit with no issues. Then some questioned how she would do against a former champ in Holm, and she passed the test with flying colors. The question going forward will be where this win puts her in the bantamweight division, a weight class for women where it doesn’t take too many wins to get into the title picture.

Diego Lopes kept his streak of quick finishes going on Saturday night, putting away Sodiq Yusuff in less than two minutes with strikes. Yusuff found himself in trouble early, getting floored by an uppercut that Lopes scored in the clinch. Another shot got him to the ground just moments later, allowing Lopes to finish the bout with ground and pound. Lopes has now put together a trio of finish wins since August 2023, all three of which have come in under two minutes.

Renato Moicano made an impressive comeback against Jalin Turner, utilizing his dominant ground control to pick up a second-round finish. Moicano earned a stoppage from a full mount position, unloading with punches against a shelled-up Turner until the fight was stopped. The fight played out like a disastrous turn of events for Turner, who scored a hard left cross knockdown in the opening round but then walked off with the false impression that the fight would be stopped due to the shot. Just minutes later, he was the one who ended up getting stopped in the fight.

Quick fists from Jessica Andrade allowed her to prevail in a split decision win over Marina Rodriguez. The former strawweight champ scored a round early after landing shots from top control for numerous minutes. In the later rounds, she strung together combinations of hooks that would overwhelm Rodriguez at times. Rodriguez was certainly able to land at times as well, allowing her to make the fight close on scorecards.

Jim Miller, the only fighter who has competed now on UFC 100, 200 and 300, lost in a hard-fought lightweight contest against Bobby Green. While Miller held his own early on, Green bloodied the fellow veteran’s face in the second round and nearly finished him in the closing moments of the fight. Miller extended his record for most UFC appearances from a single fighter’s career, competing in the octagon for the 44th time.

In a clash between former champions, Deiveson Figueiredo picked up his second bantamweight win in the opening bout with an appearance over Cody Garbrandt. The 135-pound contest was a close stand-up battle through one round but became dominant in favor of Figueiredo once they hit the ground. Garbrandt survived an arm triangle choke attempt from Figueiredo, although a rear naked choke late in the second round forced him to tap. Figueiredo won his first bantamweight fight late last year, beating Rob Font in a unanimous decision. He called for a shot at divisional champ Sean O’Malley afterward.

Quick Results

Main Card

  • Bout 13: Alex Pereira def. Jamahal Hill via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:14) (UFC Light Heavyweight Championship)
  • Bout 12: Zhang Weili def. Yan Xiaonan via Decision, Unanimous (UFC Strawweight Championship)
  • Bout 11: Max Holloway def. Justin Gaethje via TKO, Strikes (RD 5, 4:59) (UFC Lightweight BMF Championship)
  • Bout 10: Arman Tsarukyan def. Charles Oliveira via Decision, Split
  • Bout 9: Bo Nickal def. Cody Brundage via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 3:38)

Preliminary Card

  • Bout 8: Jiri Prochazka def. Aleksandar Rakic via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 3:17)
  • Bout 7: Aljamain Sterling def. Calvin Kattar via Decision, Unanimous
  • Bout 6: Kayla Harrison def. Holly Holm via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 1:47)
  • Bout 5: Diego Lopes def. Sodiq Yusuff via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:29)

Early Prelims

  • Bout 4: Renato Moicano def. Jalin Turner via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 4:11)
  • Bout 3: Jessica Andrade def. Marina Rodriguez via Decision, Split
  • Bout 2: Bobby Green def. Jim Miller via Decision, Unanimous
  • Bout 1: Deiveson Figueiredo def. Cody Garbrandt via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 4:02)
About Jack Wannan 276 Articles
Jack Wannan is a journalist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He writes and reports on professional wrestling, along with other topics like MMA, boxing, music, local news, and more. He graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He can be reached at [email protected]